Mohs surgery is usually an outpatient surgery and does not require a hospital stay. It is generally performed within your ophthalmologist’s (Eye M.D.’s) office.
Your Eye M.D. will first numb the skin around the cancerous area so you cannot feel anything. He or she will then remove any raised areas first along with a thin, circular layer of surrounding tissue. The tissue is then examined under a microscope by the surgeon. If any cancer cells are present, the surgeon will remove another thin layer. The process is repeated until no cancer cells can be detected under the microscope. You will be awake during the entire procedure, but your ophthalmologist may provide you with oral sedatives if you are anxious. Mohs surgery usually lasts about four hours.
Because the surgeon is examining tissue throughout the surgery, Mohs surgery reduces the need to remove healthy tissue and allows for the complete removal of the cancer.
Following the surgery, your Eye M.D. will monitor you to make sure that you are healing properly. He or she may also discuss options for reconstructive surgery, depending on the size and location of the cancer that was removed.